FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are some of the common questions we expect you may have about the Conference.

There are three sections:

  1. A list of topic areas (categories of questions). Clicking on an item will take you to that section of questions.
  2. A list of questions by topic area. Clicking on the topic will take you to that section of answers. Clicking on a specific question will take you to its answer.
  3. The questions themselves (repeated) along with their answers.

List of Topic Areas

List of Questions by Topic Area

CONFERENCE

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REGISTRATION

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THE HOTEL

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TOURS

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ACCESSIBILITY

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RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE

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Answers to the Questions

CONFERENCE

Q.  What are the significant dates and times for this Conference?
  A. 

The Conference will be held from Sunday, July 28, 2019, until noon on Friday, August 2, 2019.

Q.  What is the level of genealogy expertise expected by the Conference?
  A.  Typically about 1/3 of IAJGS Conference attendees are first timers at a conference. Within that, a large percentage are new to Jewish genealogy. The IAJGS Conference committees work hard to provide a conference geared to genealogists at every level of expertise, and therefore we schedule “introductory” level presentations as well as “expert” presentations. However, it is our personal experience that any lecture provides something to learn from, and I have never attended or prepared an introductory session where I did not learn something new, whether about methodology or about presentation techniques. And schmoozing with people who share an interest or an ancestral neighborhood puts the icing on the cake. The group is welcoming to new people—which, by the way, is a genealogy best practice.
Q.  When will the Conference program be available?
  A.  The submission of proposals ended on January 20, 2019. The Program Committee plans to complete the decisions about acceptances by April 1. The program will be posted on the Conference website shortly after that (see the “Program and Schedule” item under the PROGRAM tab).
Q.  How will a typical Conference day be organized?
  A.  Most days begin with a “Breakfast with the Experts” at 8 am. Presentations generally start at 9:00 and end by around 6 pm. Just after noon, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) hold luncheon meetings. Various other activities are scheduled for the evening. These include the Opening Reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday and the Banquet on Thursday.
Q.  Will the Conference be recorded?
  A.  Fleetwood Onsite records audio and slides for most sessions, and the recordings can be purchased individually or at a discount for the entire Conference. For details, see the “Audio Recordings” item under the PROGRAM tab.
Q.  Will there be a mobile-device app available?
  A.  Yes, there will be an IAJGS Conference app for mobile devices. Stay tuned for details. If you installed the app for a past conference, you will be able to use it for this Conference.
Q.  Will there be a printed program calendar and planner?
  A.  Yes, all full-conference registrants will receive a Daily Planner with the schedule of Conference activities.
Q.  How can I volunteer to help with the Conference planning?
  A.  Write to us at volunteer@iajgs2019.org to inquire about volunteering! Thanks!
Q.  When will notice be given to presenters regarding acceptance of their proposals?
  A.  We expect to do so by the beginning of April 2019.
Q.  What is available during the day for non-genealogist spouses/family?
  A.  There are many interesting things to do in Cleveland, both for Conference attendees and for their traveling companions who are not attending the Conference. We have prepared a web page that lists some of the points of interest. Under the FAQ/INFO tab, click on Sightseeing (in the TOURIST INFO section).
Q.  Will WiFi be available in the Conference venue?
  A. 

Yes. The entire Conference meeting area will be covered by WiFi. Those staying at the hotel will also have WiFi at no additional charge in their hotel rooms.

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REGISTRATION

Q.  Is there an “early-bird” rate for the Conference?
  A.  Yes, there is an early-bird rate that expires on May 9, 2019. Please see the REGISTRATION tab on this website for more information.
Q.  Is there a “Daily Rate” for the Conference?
  A.  Yes, the daily rate has been set at $175 per day. The cost of two days approximately equals the full Conference rate, so it makes sense to register for the entire Conference unless you plan to attend only for a single day.
Q.  Is the Daily Rate for Friday the same as for the other days of the week?
  A.  Yes.
Q.  What is the cancellation policy?
  A. 

Refunds will depend on when we receive a cancellation notice.

  • On or before May 7, 2019: A full refund of all fees paid less a $50 administrative fee will be made if a cancellation request is received by 11:59 pm EDT, May 7, 2019.
  • On or after May 7, 2019, and before July 1, 2019: A 50% refund of all fees paid less a $50 administrative fee if a cancellation request is received by 11:59 pm EDT, June 30, 2019. If you wish to substitute other Conference items for any fees paid, you may do so. This is not transferable to another person. If the substitution results in a net increase, you must pay the difference. If there is a net reduction, the difference will be refunded less a $50 administrative fee. If the difference is less than $50, it is forfeited in lieu of the administrative fee.
  • On or after July 1, 2019: No refunds or substitutions will be made for requests received on or after 12:01 am EDT July 1, 2019. We regret if illness, family emergency, or other reasons prevent you from participating in some or all of the Conference. However, we incur obligations to others based upon your registration and additional fee items.

There will be no exceptions to the cancellation/refund policy. You may want to consider buying trip cancellation insurance.

To cancel your registration, please write to cancel@iajgs2019.org or send a letter (delivery confirmation recommended) to

    Paul Wolf, Registration Chair
    IAJGS Cleveland 2019
    4073 Bushnell Road
    Cleveland, OH 44118-3305

Q.  What is the new “Mandatory Meal Voucher”?
  A.  New this year is a Mandatory Meal Voucher that will be added to and included with the registration fee. For details, see HERE.

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THE HOTEL

Q.  Where will the Conference be held?
  A.  The Conference will be held at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown hotel at 100 Lakeside Avenue East, Cleveland, Ohio, 44114. The hotel is nicely situated close to the waterfront of Lake Erie and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Q.  Is it possible to register now for hotel rooms?
  A.  Yes. See the information under the HOTEL/TRAVEL tab on the website.
Q.  Have we reserved rooms at additional hotels?
  A.  We have announced special arrangements at several overflow hotels now that rooms at the Hilton have largely been booked. See the Overflow Hotels page udner the HOTEL/TRAVEL tab.
Q.  Will the Conference assist with finding roommates upon request?
  A. 

Yes. Attendees who would like to find a roommate during the Conference can:

  • post on the “IAJGS Conference Discussion” Facebook page (see HERE)
  • post to the Conference Discussion List (see HERE), or
  • write to roommates@iajgs2019.org
Q.  Is it possible to have a refrigerator in the hotel room?
  A.  Yes. All rooms in the Hilton Downtown Cleveland include a mini refrigerator. They also have an in-room safe, a hair dryer, and an iron and ironing board.
Q.  Is it possible to have a manual key to the hotel room?
  A.  No. All rooms at the hotel use electronic locks, and there is no provision for using conventional keys. However, hotel staff can help guests enter hotel rooms on Shabbat.
Q.  Is it possible to have a lower level floor in the hotel?
  A. 

Yes. Note, however, that guest rooms start on the floors above the meeting areas, on something like the 5th floor. So even a room on the lowest available floor will still require negotiating many flights of stairs.

You will be able to book a room guaranteed to be on a lower floor. You will need to add that request to the notes in the hotel reservation when booking. After you book a room, we would recommend that you make a follow-up call (or send an email message if you cannot call) to the hotel to make sure that the request is in your record. A final confirmation call a few days before arriving might be a good idea as well.

Q.  What about parking?
  A. 

Information about parking is covered in a section of the Hotel Reservations page (see HERE).

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TOURS

Q.  Will there be research or sightseeing tours available?
  A.  There are two tours of Jewish cemeteries in the Cleveland area. See the Cemetery Tours item under the PROGRAM tab for details.

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ACCESSIBILITY

Q.  Are there disability-accessible rooms in the hotel?
  A.  Yes.

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RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE

Q.  Will there be kosher food available at the Conference?
  A.  Yes. While most Conference functions will not be all-kosher, kosher food can be pre-ordered for organized meals (such as SIG luncheons and the Banquet), and kosher box lunches can be pre-ordered as well. The reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be all-kosher. Please follow this topic on the Kosher SIG Facebook Group.
Q.  Will this Conference include a daily minyan?
  A.  Yes. There will be a daily morning (Shacharit) minyan Monday through Friday, with Torah reading on Monday, Thursday, and Friday (Rosh Hodesh Av). Afternoon (Mincha) services will generally be held at 6 pm, and evening (Ma'ariv) services will be arranged on an ad hoc basis depending on the schedule each day.
Q.  What are the arrangements for Shabbat?
  A.  The Conference is not planning any activities for Shabbat. The available arrangements for services and meals are described under the FAQ/INFO tab in the RELIGIOUS SERVICES item.

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